Nick and the team welcome you to the Handmade Kitchen Company. Our beautiful kitchen showroom awaits you in Bishop’s Stortford, which has been a passion project over the last five years, converting a barn into the most incredible setting.
Nick has been designing beautiful kitchens for discerning clients for over two decades. He has worked in a variety of roles within the construction industry since leaving school, he then branched out into kitchen design and installation, opening his first showroom for Handmade Kitchen Company in Epping, Essex in 1999. His continued success in developing and delivering beautifully designed bespoke kitchens that perfectly match your lifestyle has led to the expansion of the business.
Stanley the Springer Spaniel is an important member of the team in our Great Hallingbury showroom. He continues to delight clients old and new by meeting and greeting on arrival, wagging his tail and showing off his adorable face.
We also welcome you to meet our newest member of the Nicholas Bridger team… Say hello to Mabel the Tibetan Terrier. We can’t wait to watch her learn and grow around the barn, and impress our clients old and new!
Our approach as a family run business is to be friendly yet professional offering the best advice for your individual circumstances and requirements. The end result is working with a company you can trust to certainly exceed your expectations.
When preparing for your kitchen showroom visit, planning and researching the project is a great way to help Nick determine your needs, as well as playing an important part in the planning of the perfect kitchen. The more information you can collect on what you’re looking for to bring to the showroom, the better. We recommend using Pinterest and Instagram and saving images into boards/albums.
Our showroom in Bishop’s Stortford houses a selection of our popular kitchen styles including classic, traditional, modern and also our contemporary slab and wood veneer. You can see for yourself the high quality of our workmanship and the bespoke options available to you. Gather more inspiration from our fantastic range of display furniture. We also have a variety of live and fully functional Sub-Zero Wolf appliances available to test for yourself – almost 20 appliances from this high-end and globally renowned brand.
Is the kitchen for now or forever?
You need to be thinking to yourself if the kitchen is being selected to last a long time and one that’s worth spending more money on and extra time, or is it a space that will ‘do for now’, as you are considering on moving in a couple of years time? The budget does come into this but so do your requirements.
The first stage of the process we recommend to consider is how you want the space to be used. Is it a large open-plan space where you can incorporate a dining area for entertaining or a living area to chill after a long day? Do you need the kitchen to serve as the main area of the home for the family? Do you love gadgets, fine dining, or both?
Is the room big enough for a kitchen island?
The next step is to look at the existing space to figure out what will work in the area, what needs changing and is it big enough? Is the kitchen layout right for you? Are the wet, cold and hot zones in the right place (kitchen triangle)? Are you thinking of knocking down walls, extending the area? It is good to factor in these ideas at an early stage of the kitchen project.
Set a budget that suits
Everyone is budget-conscious – no matter what style of kitchen you are looking at, there is a massive price range from the bottom end to top-end. We believe we provide the finest quality and service in the industry.
The two questions we ask you then: “are you investing enough money in your kitchen to fulfil the longevity you expect?” and “are you wasting money on the cheapest option?”
Low-end kitchen cost
Low-end kitchens such as high-street retailers and the big DIY shops always have promotions running and it is common to see ‘whole’ kitchens advertised for less than £5k. We know that these kitchens almost always end up being 20-30% more than the advertised price once everything is considered, sometimes even £10-20k in the end! These kitchens are designed to last for around 5-10 years and are low quality, large scale production product, with nothing bespoke, designed to deliver on price and appearance. We have heard horror stories of unfortunate customers paying vast sums £20-40k on these bottom end (low-end) highstreet retailer kitchens. In reality, you could have sourced a kitchen with the quality that will last a lifetime, with fully bespoke options from family-run bespoke and handmade kitchen companies like ourselves.
High-end kitchen cost
With high-end kitchens, it is not uncommon to see prices in the £40/60/80k mark. It is important to note that these kitchens are more often than not quoted as being handmade and bespoke. This is rarely the case however as some are manufactured in China, which makes these ‘bespoke’ options available at a highly inflated cost. In fact, many of these companies are not providing the furniture they would really want to sell you. A true high-end kitchen will be designed to last more than 10 years with the goal being ‘lasting a lifetime’, they deliver on appearance and longevity with a far greater degree of quality than the high-street product.
At The Handmade Kitchen company, all of our kitchens are ‘truly bespoke’. We make one kitchen at a time – ‘made to order’ – with no additional costs for bespoke options in our cabinetry. We offer you complete flexibility in styles, materials, colours and more. We believe we are offering our clients affordable luxury. You can make a true investment while not paying over the odds.
Our kitchens start from around £25k for furniture supplied and fitted. Appliances and worktops would be extra.
Setting that budget
It is good to set a budget, having worked out what you can realistically spend and after you have decided how long the kitchen needs to last. When you have decided on the figure you can start looking at the kind of cabinetry and appliances that are available to you that will fit within your allocated budget. Some appliances and kitchen extras can cost a little more so it’s good to know the typical costs of kitchens and that your kitchen designer is aware of your budget. They will do everything they can to design the best kitchen area within your target price range.
Budgeting for worktops, appliances, tiling and flooring.
Researching into worktops, tiling and appliances are vital as some may be more than others. The golden rule is considering what your priorities are and what are non-negotiable. Granite and Quartz worktops are very popular in the home now and definitely worth the investment, especially if you are considering the kitchen is going to last a good few years. There are so many colours, designs and styles to choose from that will work so well on your worktops and even a splashback area.
An appliance wishlist will help you to decide on what factors into your budget, or what is too expensive. It will also help you to compromise on those pricey items.
Building a good relationship with your kitchen supplier and designer is important as they are the ones that will be advising you on the best way to spend your money, in terms of the final layout and the kitchen features and appliances chosen by yourself. It is always good to form your own scrapbook of ideas from magazines and social media such as Instagram and Pinterest, these sites will give you more inspiration. Nick will then be able to understand the style you are looking at/for and whether it’s traditional, modern or contemporary, with the colour palette you desire.
Our traditional cabinet making process is combined with the latest technology from design in 3D to sub-millimetre precision production – your new furniture will fit beautifully into your available space. We use beautiful raw materials which are handcrafted by our skilled craftsmen from scratch with Mortice and Tenon jointed doors and dovetailed drawer boxes.
Have measurements to hand, with details of objects such as windows, doors and boilers if they are situated in the kitchen space. It is important to be clear on the vision you have for your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from an expert.
Find our showroom here and discuss your plans with Nick himself to start planning a kitchen and producing the most wonderful one-of-a-kind bespoke kitchen that meets all of your needs, fulfils your dreams and exceeds all of your expectations.
Check out our short video of the showroom below – what to expect when putting your foot through the door of the Handmade Kitchen Company by Nicholas Bridger.